Hush is one of those books where the theme and character exploration steals the show. Sure, the action, intrigue, and magic were entertaining and fast paced, but I loved watching Shae figure out who she was. Discovering secrets about the world, Hush is about the power of belief. Keep reading this book review to see what I mean!
They use magic to silence the world. Who will break the hush?
Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay… Of the disease that took her brother’s life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe.
When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend.
Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Hush is one of those books where I read it via audiobook and physical copy. I listen to audiobooks pretty much while I do any chores, just to make them more bearable. But at the end of the night, I like to curl up and read a physical book by candlelight. Not as my only source of light!
What I loved about Hush is both Shae’s journey, and the way magic can be used as a weapon of control. When you can be turned in by anyone, for the ‘good of your village’, Shae’s village lives both in fear and a culture of silence. Living on the outskirts, Shae is used to being careful of her friends, knowing personally the loss associated with breaking the rules. Hush is a slow building story about the forces that drive us as well as the power of belief.
The audiobook narrator, Emily Shaffer, does an absolutely brilliant job of infusing Shae’s dialogue with emotion. In a book where Shae is constantly gaslit, told that her memories aren’t true, Shaffer is able to convey that feeling of disbelief in oneself. When you aren’t sure if you just remembered things wrongly, and the fear and desperation when you aren’t believed.
Hush is full of a world where people can use illusions and Tellings to manipulate our belief in them. To change the ways we see the world. To create a culture of fear and obedience in which our lives are firmly under their control. Shae’s journey becomes not only a quest to believe in herself, but also to uncover the secrets that magic is obscuring.
Hush is a powerful story about holding true to ourselves. It’s about the power of standing up for what you know is true and the ripples one person can make. Of finding the truth and confronting the secrets, wherever it takes us. Find Hush on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, Libro.fm, Google Play Audiobook, & The Book Depository.